YouTube, Tribeca reveal doc programming for digital film festival

Josh Swade’s Ricky Powell: The Individualist and Joan Chen’s The Iron Hammer join the eight documentary films premiering this month as part of We Are One: A Global Film Festival. The 10-day digital ...
May 26, 2020

Josh Swade’s Ricky Powell: The Individualist and Joan Chen’s The Iron Hammer join the eight documentary films premiering this month as part of We Are One: A Global Film Festival.

The 10-day digital festival, produced and organized by Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube, comprises more than 100 films, including 13 world premieres, 31 online premieres and five international online premieres.

Co-curated by 21 festivals hailing from 35 countries, programming was  culled from the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival and New York Film Festival, to name a few.

In addition to 23 narrative and eight doc features, the festival will screen 57 narrative and 15 documentary short films, 15 archived talks along with four festival exclusives and five VR programming pieces.

Swade’s Ricky Powell: The Individualist was selected to have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival prior to its postponement in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The film about the legendary street photographer features testimonies with those who found themselves on the other side of Powell’s lens, including actress Natasha Lyonne and rapper LL Cool J.

Chen’s The Iron Hammer, scheduled to have its world premiere at the now-cancelled 63rd San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM), charts the life and career of “Jenny” Lang Ping, an Olympic athlete who propels China to international prominence in volleyball.

Other notable documentary selections include the global premiere of Third Eye Blind short Motorcycle Drive By, directed by David Wexler, which tells the story behind the band’s 1997 song of the same name; and And She Could Be Next, the two-part documentary series on the experiences of women of color running for office. The Tribeca Film Festival selection will air on PBS this June.

We Are One: A Global Film Festival will host a number of talks, both archived from past festivals and new discussions.

Talks will feature Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho and Bong Joon-ho, Guillermo del Toro, Jane Campion and Claire Denis.

VR selections, meanwhile, will feature Emmy-nominated documentary Traveling While Black. There will also be special musical performances, including a 30-minute DJ set by Questlove.

We Are One: A Global Film Festival runs exclusively on YouTube May 29 to June 7.

The event will be free to audiences worldwide and benefit the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, as well as local relief partners in each region.

“We are so excited to share the combined efforts of our festival partners and YouTube with the world this week,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal in a statement. “Together, we were able to curate a compelling slate of programming that succinctly reflects the subtle variations in style that make each festival so special.”

“One of the beautiful things about films and other visual content is the ability to tell stories and bring people together, no matter where they live or where they’re from. This is a phenomenon we’ve seen at YouTube throughout the years but especially today, as people look to connect and be entertained,” Robert Kyncl, chief business officer of YouTube, added.

The full festival schedule is available here.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.